So this past month has seen a few cool festivals. On February 13, 2011 the temple celebrated the annual Aphrodisia honoring Aphrodite and all Her forms. Traditionally this festival was held in ancient Athens around August, but with all of the hearts and candles and "love" paraphernalia being sold in the local stores for Valentines' Day it has seemed appropriate to celebrate Her in February. Hellenion, a US organization for Hellenic Polytheism celebrates Aphrodite with a libation on the second Saturday of the month, and many pagans posted offerings they had made on Facebook. Our celebration consisted of washing Aphrodite's statue with water mixed with rose petals, "Love-Healing" water, Aphrodite Oil (a blend of cypress and rose oil in a base of olive oil) and rose water. This was our main sacrifice and the water was given to Her through the washing of Her statue. We asked for many blessings to come our way and then celebrated with a feast of candy, cup-cakes, sweet and sour chicken, shrimp and much more. May Aphrodite grant those who honor Her many blessings.
The day after Aphrodisia, the Anthesteria took place, which was not exactly a celebration in the temple as the temple is closed during that festival. The reason for this is that on the third day of Anthesteria the dead are allowed to roam and visit their relatives. Because in Hellenismos the dead and the Olympians cannot mix, the temple is closed and worship focuses on the ancestors on this day of the Anthesteria. The other two days of Anthesteria involve the worship of Dionysos and His wife, Ariadne. I offered two bottles of wine to Dionysos and to the Dead (on the third day). On the second day, I offered a picture of Ariadne to Dionysos which I found online.
Next month we honor the Diasia, and for this event, which honors Zeus Meilikhios, we will be doing a teddy-bear drive. Zeus Meilikhios is very protective of children, and we will be donating teddy bears to Hasbro Children's hospital in honor of this aspect. The last week of March we will be celebrating the coming of Spring--a season I think everyone's been looking forward to! Offerings will be given to Gaia, Demeter, Persephone, Pan and Artemis with the change of the season.
May the blessings of Spring be upon us soon!